listening to: kronos quartet – synchrony no. 2


Hey, look! I finally made a proper post on the music blog, about my latest random obsession. It is worth a look.

Really, though. I have no right to “AH” in a bad way. My lesson was great. My playing is alright. Schumann tried to kill himself by jumping in the Rhein River and his concerto is crazy but I may actually be able to pull of this competition thing. Or maybe not.

Also, for every bad attitude, there is an honest, eager-learning person with a great attitude. Or, close, anyway.

Oh! Random amusing quote:

“Hmm…what’s my motto again…?”
“‘Shut the hell up’?”
“Well, that, too…”


listening to: copland – billy the kid suite

I have to admit: I was bad, and I checked out this CD of Copland orchestral works from the Music Library for the sole purpose of hearing the Billy the Kid Suite.

I will freely admit that I am obsessing over this piece. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned the “tingly down the spine” sensation that some music gives me, but this piece does just that. Or maybe it’s the fast rhythmic and percussive passages during “Billy’s Capture.” Or maybe it’s the demented theme that is only demented because of the weird bi-tonal bass-line thing. Or maybe it’s just that we played this during YOA and it was a damn lot of fun. I don’t know, but I love it.

It actually makes me realize that I probably should be an orchestral musician for the sole purpose of playing intense rhythmic things in large groups of players. Because that makes me happy.


I have a lesson today, for the first time in over a month. I hope I hold it together and don’t just fall to my knees in a guilty mess of “I can’t accomplish things.” But…damn. I’ve really been needing a lesson.

Schumann is still not learned and sounds like ass. Why is this piece so freaking hard? That’s what she said. Ohh.

Always Ever In The Process

listening to: 808 state – joyrider

I’m in the process of putting an entry together for this music blog, but it’s definitely a difficult thing. I’m finding that I am especially have problems putting into wording exactly what kinds of things I feel are going on in electronic music. Maybe I should just not say anything at all. Maybe I should just type out “these songs: awesome” and post things.

The frustrating thing is that there is a lot of music out there that I could probably blab on about for days without loosing sight of how to word sentences (wait, did I actually type that? That’s completely ridiculous and untrue. I’m terrible at using words). But the thing I chose? We’ll see.

I think I’m just doing this because I need something new to occupy my brain. I am one of those people who always need projects to remain complacent, I realized recently. I like starting things (but not necessary finishing those things).

In other things, my cello is BUZZING. I spent about 20 minutes today taking things apart and hitting strings and rapping seams and knocking tail-pieces, and I figured out that my fine-tuners are completely what are causing the problems. My tail-piece is plastic and the tuners are metal, and SOMETHING in there is vibrating like there is no tomorrow. I am contemplating a number of things, one of them being a carbon-fiber tail-piece. Others include: yelling.

I realized today that I am yelling a lot in the practice-rooms, as of late. What does it mean?! Oh. Right. That I’m crazy.

I talked to Michelle not long ago. We have decided that it is absolutely necessary for us to embark on a crusade in which we hit people in the face. So, beware.

In other things: Dan Beahm and the Invisible Three has a gig at the High Dive on March 2nd. Oooh yeah.

Off to practice my brains out.

Not Sleeping

listening to: occidental brothers – eso pele

This is me not sleeping.

Hey, I’m okay now. I did some tidying. Checked out some summer stuff. Baked some banana bread (which — BY THE WAY. 5 tspns of milk. It makes things quite light. Maybe a little less dense. I forgot my mom added milk to hers, most of the time. I think I have my arbitrary banana bread recipe down cold).

Oh, speaking of food, I made a GREAT pizza over the weekend. It involved spinach and goat cheese and HOOOO. Goat cheese is so very excellent.

I also started an mp3 blog. Nothing there yet, but stay tuned. New layouts will be made, music will be added. It will be excellent. I figure that…I really need a concentrated area for my musical obsessing on the internet. And here it is.

In Which I Rant About EVERYTHING

listening to: ancient greeks – 72 phone strike

Oh. My god. I have so many musical discovery things I want to share but cannot as I think it’s really important that I rant right now.



Seriously, though. I just realized that I’m basically F-U-K-T for the rest of the semester. February has been emotional hell, but March and April are going to be scholarly hell. The concerto competition is March 12th and studio class is on Tuesday and I can’t get ahold of a pianist and I have a recital April 21st and we’re playing Don Juan and things just keep coming up, and because my compressor mic died and I haven’t had a good time to schedule recording to Eric L, I have missed deadlines to lots of summer things and…I feel like such a delinquent and a failure because I can’t remember when I’ve been this behind, and I still want musicians to shut their attitude noise-holes and…classes? What are classes? And just…how am I stressing myself out about this now? Things will be fine. I just need to calm the hell down.

I mostly just feel …guilty. Like I have failed my teacher in advance for not being prepared like I should have been. I mean, I should have seen this coming. But at the same time, there are only so many hours in the day and only so many hours in the day that I can play without hurting myself, and the last week has been testing those limits. I just said to my mom over the phone “I thought I had practiced, but I guess I didn’t!” and she laughed and laughed at me and.

Alright. I’m just going to say what I normally wouldn’t just come out and announce on the internet. I’ve been pretty down the last couple weeks. And depressed. And frustrated. And just emotionally not with it. And, you know, shit. It really hit me the other day when I realized that there are only TWO REASONS that I love my music experience at this school. TWO REASONS that I am here. 1) Brandon and 2) Schleicher. And I haven’t really had the opportunity to work with either of them in the last three weeks. This has killed my energy and my motivation.

And so here I am, rationalizing with myself and blah blah blah and…

This entry has been especially funny to me because I’m so vague and unspecific about everything in recent times, but man, I just needed to rant. To RANT, I say. I am starting to suspect that February of 2007 simply hates me. In every way shape and form, and I am starting to think that maybe March will automatically be better, or maybe it will really be WORSE and then I’ll gouge my brain-eyes out.


Also, comment I meant to respond to a while ago.

Colin: “Chill the fuck out” Word!! Yeah. But clearly, I need to chill the fuck out, too.

Woo! I’m insane! It’s great! I’m going to go figure this summer program crap out.

Bordeux, More Like Bor-Don’t

listening to: stereolab – brigitte

Verdict on this song playing on repeat in iTunes: guilty.

Man. So I think I got completely p0wned yesterday in conducting seminar.

We’re playing Don Juan for our next concert in symphony (which is an excerpt that will NEVER GO AWAY if you’re a string player. It is so…freaking hard. That’s what she said), which we begin rehearsals for next Monday. And we were instructed to bring our parts into conducting seminar yesterday, so that all conductors could practice starting it (since it is kind of an equivalent conductor opening move to Beethoven 5…). So we did this for the first ten minutes of seminar, and played generally no more than about four measures. And then we moved on.

But then at break, I was standing talking to Rebecca and Forrest about natural food and live active cultures in yogurt (yeah, awesome. But seriously. High fructos corn syrup. The stuff is bad news. And live active cultures are good and leave good bacteria in your intestines, which is fairly important thing! Okay, canning the healthy preaching B.S.), when Schleicher walks into the rehearsal room, walks to our stand and picks up a Don Juan part, comes over to ME SPECIFICALLY and says “Don Juan. Let’s hear it.”


I can’t remember my response. It must have been something like [insert worst poker face in the world here] “Uh…um…al…right…uh…okay.”

So I grabbed my cello from its case, idiotically and mindlessly grabbed the wrong bow, looked to my peers and also saw they had some pretty intense “wtf” expressions on their faces, and went to play Don Juan in front of my conductor while everybody else was standing around the rehearsal room talking.

So I played. The ENTIRE first page and a half. Which I had most certainly not looked at or played since we had auditions on Don Juan in August. And it’s not like I’ve really been practicing a whole lot this week because of opera. But good for me for not whining or making up excuses. I have come a long way from the excuse-making-up teenager I used to be. Schleicher gave me general comments and said something like “it’s coming along” and I sort of kind of wanted to die.

Actually, this entire experience was pretty hilarious. I’ve been needing something to keep me on my toes, and that was totally the thing. Playing the impossibly difficult Don Juan for a conductor I sort of hero-worship. Yep.

Other positive outcomes include feedback from a real conductor. And also terrorizing other string-players. Hee hee hee.

Yeah. This is going to sound a little weird but…….I think I want to conduct next year in conducting seminar. Maybe I’m crazy.

After opera last night, I went to a co-shindig, involving Catherine’s end of grad school auditions and Joe’s 24th birthday. Highlights included people smearing carrot cake on Joe’s face, people saying they would pay Ed to jump off the balcony, and the greatest Kinderman story, EVER.

It was a good time. I’m suddenly being social. It’s weird. I think I need to be right now, though. It’s refreshing and different and kind of taking my mind off of a lot of this stupid friend shit I’ve been wading through, recently. Hmm.

Another opera tonight. I feel a lot more capable now than I did three nights ago.

What The Hell.

listening to: my brain, being confused

Wow. That was…that was…what the hell?

But — seriously!! What the hell?!

Not Exactly From Out Of Nowhere

listening to: stereolab – on off

Puccini doesn’t like my back.

Madame Butterfly is such a damn long opera. But it has made me start to realize that the reason I’ve never been that enthusiastic about opera in the first place is because I just haven’t played very many good ones. This fact doesn’t make up for how much my freaking back hurts, or how nobody really has any cognitive power left into the third act (which happens to be the most difficult act). I guess it’s just nice to realize that under the right circumstances (ie, not being in school at the same time and occasional making actual money for the act) would not only have its ups but be really enjoyable music-making.

I also really like the half of the cello section that’s playing.

On a completely different note: It was recently implied that I’m just a musical people-pleaser. My response to that is, at least I’m flexible.

Which brings me to my very short rant from my last entry. I mentioned attitudes. Well, it’s funny to me how I at first thought that going to non-conservatory music school that was not wedged in some big city would save me from people with ego and attitude problems. Because it completely didn’t, now that I think of things that occur both here and some other things from my year at Iowa. Because I hate crap like that. HATE. It’s probably the number one reason that every once in a while I seriously consider chucking my cello out a window and going to live in the woods on my own, or something (except for the part where I would take my cello with me and maybe just leave notes under people’s car wiper blades like “YOU GUYS SUCK” instead, if I need to use some dramatic event for a last hurrah or whatever).

I’m not saying this is all directly to do with me. Mostly I’m frustrated with watching and hearing about the way people treat teach other.

And I’m also not saying it’s worse here than it would be in other places. But there is such a weird variety of attitude here that half the time I can’t even figure out of it’s for real or just in my head. Some people have very verbal attitudes, which can generally be tuned out. Others more action-based (gigs, practicing, rehearsal etiquette crap). Some are so subtle that you don’t even know they’re there until maybe two days after the fact where you stop and go “WAITAMINUTE! HEEEY!” and contemplate clocking people for seemingly no reason.

What I’m trying to say is that…it is bad here. I know that every musical scene I am ever present on will have its problems, but something very wrong is occurring if it’s affecting the morale and optimism of as many students as it currently is.

Here is the bottom line: Music is not concrete. You can’t see or touch it, so how does that give anybody the right to say that one thing is absolutely correct or incorrect in regards to it? Names don’t matter. Titles don’t matter. Degrees and schools don’t matter. Bowings and editions are open to interpretation. Talk is only talk, unless it has a point and purpose, and I’m not getting a whole lot of either of those things, recently. Everyone improves or learns at a different rate through a different experience. Everyone has different learning needs. I think passion and determination in regards to understanding music and how to play an instrument is important. But there is such a thing as taking oneself too seriously or, as I like to put it “beating a dead horse” (Talia’s official motto: don’t beat a dead horse).

Listening is important. Not just to notes and sounds. For those few times when talk does have a point and purpose, I wonder if people listen enough. I wonder if I listen enough. I wish people would just take some time to figure out their own needs and thoughts before going off and criticizing others.

How Much Wind, No Idea

I am sick sick SICK of attitudes. Why can’t people just shut their pie-holes?! Or open up the pie-holes when they have something supportive to say?

I miss my teacher.

The only other thing I have to offer right now is this song, which I am pretty sure comes the closest to accurately representing what kinds of repetitive things go on in my brain all hours of the day: Stereolab – Plastic Mile

Might Give Myself A Labotomy

listening to: kimono – aftermath

Here is a story about how I forgot my BOW for our opera dress rehearsal tonight. Hahahaaah. But I forgot my bow for a REASON!

So, right. I went to Chicago with Adrian. And Adrian dropped me off at my place, with my bow in a separate case. And then I sat around and did very little until opera. And promptly left my apartment around 6:30ish, not even thinking about the fact that I’d rehaired my bow and I was walking away without it as it sat on a table in my apartment until I had already gotten my cello out of my locker. Oops.

And I kind of went “oh shit!” because I have a second bow, but the last time I checked, part of the shell had come loose and was dangling. And also, I have never gotten this bow rehaired once since I got it probably around 5 years ago.

But I sucked it up, got out my piece of crap second bow, wedged the shell back in its original place, and put rosin on the bow for about 5 minutes.

And…oh my god! My piece of crap bow is awesome! Even though it’s slightly broken and hasn’t been rehaired! Seriously! I don’t think I’ve tested my second bow out with my newer cello, but there is some serious lower-string articulation action going on. And upper-string ringing action.

But the crazy part is that my current bow rocks quite a lot, too. My life is full of awesome bows. What more could I ask for?

Anyway. I need to get this bow rehaired ASAP. Because…well, I don’t know how much I mean what I am about to say at this point in time, but it might actually become my primary bow, if it continues to rock as much as it did during rehearsal (until it became thirsty for rosin again).

That is the end of my stupid and pointless story. I just like bows, is all. Especially when they are mine.

I also visited my sister at the Symphony Store today. It turns out she’s in a band, too. Clearly we are both awesome.


listening to: pizzicato five – i wanna be you

I am going to freak out so many people by wearing contacts for the rest of the week. It’s going to be awesome.

Haaay, so I went to Chicago today to have my bow rehaired. And I have some cool pictures. And it’s amazing who you run into on Michigan Ave (hellooo, Augusta Reed Thomas and members of the CSO). And mostly I just don’t want to play an opera tonight.

Insert obligatory witty statement here.


Daaaaaaah Heroes is back up on YouTube! Happy Day! Sylar has crazy eye-brows.

My car is making unpleasant noises.

That’s all.

I Foresee Less Stupid Crap In The Future

listening to: the cranberries – the rebels

Oh man. Does anybody remember the movie Breaking Away? They made us watch it in psychology class in high school. I remember liking it. I also remember filing it away in the back of my brain because apparently they filmed it in Bloomington, Indiana while my mom was doing her graduate work there. Well, I had the WEIRDEST dream last night, involving quarries and stone-cutting and IU and…this movie. And…I’m done.

Weekend. Was good. Practiced. Slept. Bought pants.

Last night Eric and I saw Ghostrider. And…my advice to the general public is to…not. Really. See some other well-done comic-to-screen movie. There are a lot of them. Or just read the original comic-book. The film simply lacked. I mean, it had cool stuff. Like a few very cool graphics and a version of Nicolas Cage I kind of liked and a LOT of cleavage by the main girl-character (who was otherwise useless) But…meh.

Eric also happened to spoil basically a lot of Heroes for me, which, well, that’s actually awesome because I’m a spoiler-whore in the first place. But I have to say. I’m frustrated that everything TV-related is disappearing from YouTube and Daily Motion. In the last week I’ve actually started using torrents. It’s really sad being too cheap to pay for cable. Ah well.

Today was the famous Jeff’s recital. For those of you who don’t know Jeff, picture a Juilliard grad in trumpet performance who ended up with a one-year orchestra job as principal trumpet with Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra in South Korea. Which is ridiculous for someone who basically just completed their undergrad. That’s just the recent detail. I went to high school with Jeff. I actually first met him in 8th grade at the Community Players production of The Secret Garden. Jeff renamed me “Moyra” because apparently I was dissatisfied with my name at that time. Jeff also convinced me to apply to U-High in the first place, which turned out well. For that matter, Jeff convinced me to join Chicago Youth Symphony and basically sell my soul to music in all forms. Hmm. I keep meaning to give him a talking-to about that. M.E.D. and I also planned on marrying his older brother (which BY THE WAY, M.E.D., we need to discuss).

But anyway. The recital was awesome. Except for the part where oh my god, it was the Sea of Awkward. All these parents of kids who I was either friends with or vaguely knew. For some reason it was just so uncomfortable. I always forget how many kid’s parents were so involved, and how my parents really were not. Maybe that had something to do with it. It was just very strange to be where I am now in life and kind of…re-experience that. Hmm.

So the recital was great. And I made an appearance at the reception, where Jeff said I should audition for Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, and also mentioned how my Dad DID tell him to go abroad, and that I should thank my Dad for that. I also saw more parents and got to reiterate several times how my winter vacation was just not right because it lacked the annual trumpet recital thing.

I am actually moved to think that this year I ACTUALLY. SERIOUSLY need to give a recital during the summer. Piazzola, Britten, Debussy, and that crazy Mark Summer piece. All things under my fingers (except for Britten, which I will have to relearn).

That’s another thing about this weekend. I really really practiced. It was great.

Generally, I just needed to get away and not be freezing. Mission accomplished. I am going to forget last week and go forward in a brilliant wave of Opera and recording stuff.

Get Out Of My Offive

listening to: stuart davis – original face


Somebody on The Office lj community posted some Office mood icons, and I couldn’t remember whether or not non-paying users could use customized mood themes, so I tried to install it. But you had to give them a name and a description, and so I typed something like “The Office” “A-maaazing mood theme.” Except I accidentally typed “Offive.” And when I noticed this I laughed SO. FREAKING. HARD. Because I’m an idiot and that Harvey the Computer bit killed me.

Augh. 3 hour opera rehearsal kills my brain. So does driving an hour home in HELLISH WINTER CONDITIONS. Seriously. Harrowing (“Arrowing…” uuh).

Things are better today. Opera was actually alright. I was thinking about it, and I’m really grateful for the experience of YOA and just learning how to sit through 8 hours of playing in one day. Any other opera season I can remember would have my back killing me by now. It’s do-able, it seems.

I think I’m going to need to start wearing contact lenses for the pit, though. Eduardo is on the highest platform, , and the cellos are about 3.5 feet lower, so he’s above the line of my glasses, meaning I basically have to spend 50% of the time looking at him and wondering if what I just tried to memorize from the part is what I should actually be playing. I knew there was a reason I got contacts.

Cheers to PMS, and not needing to be chained to the radiator anymore. Not that I had a radiator to begin with. Oh, how I wish I did.

On Laughing At Bad Things

listening to: maritime – tearing up the oxygen

I am happy for the following reasons: New episode of The Office even if I probably won’t see it until tomorrow. They gave me an extra portable heater until mine is salvaged. I am going home this weekend and will get to see JEFF!!! I really like Heroes. I am feeling slightly less moody today (only slightly though). We got to throw paper airplanes today in pedagogy.

Yes. Happy. No. Not really.

I don’t mean to suddenly be all Ms. Angsty McBitchalot, or anything, but it’s just been one of those weeks. I am not exactly religious, and hardly even superstitious. I don’t really have much to say about “fate” in terms of important life events, like I know my Dad does. But one thing I do believe in is timing. Synchrony, I guess. When those 8-million tiny annoying things come together within a short period of time and also happen to coincide with the timing of a few hugely bad things, and then you start to ask yourself “what could go wrong next?” and then something else goes wrong? There’s something so crazily funny and ironic to me about that. After a while, I can almost call it. I can think about what else could go wrong, and start making wagers on exactly what. It’s more fitting and awesome when the exact thing I suspected actually goes wrong.

I can usually take a moment to step away from idiocy in life and laugh at the irony or chuckle at how funny some of the things that happen actually are in retrospect. But for some reason it’s hard for me to do right now. I am going to attribute part of this to PMS, certainly (Seriously. I have simply been unreasonable with myself and others in the last couple days). And the fact that the weather has been consistently keeping me from running around in the out-of-doors for almost a month now. Again, the timing! I don’t know what it is. All these ridiculous things happen, and I would usually at least go “it figures.” But now I can’t even come close to laughing.

I don’t think it’s all the fault of those mood-altering factors, though. Some of this shit just really sucks. It’s true I love ridiculousness in life, but when it’s teamed with a stifling seriousness, it’s difficult to laugh.

I will just say that I miss finding the humor of stupid shit happening to me. I hope I can find it again soon.

Feb 15th

Today is International “That’s What She Said” Day. So…keep it up!


I’m really doing well in the “perception” area of things, today.


watching: heroes

I am cleansed!

Sort of.

I really hate what my body has been putting me through the last couple days.

But I put some photos up on Flickr! What ho! I don’t know what that means.

Yeah, accidentally leaving the flash on.

Vince watching Ed. Oh, weather.

It’s cold. I am contemplating sleeping in the bathroom, which is always warm.

Amusing Title Here

listening to: voltaire – dead girls

Exciting things that happened today:

1) School being cancelled. And yet somehow I ended up trekking to and from the Music Building twice. Once with my camera. Results will be uploaded as soon as I find my damn USB connecter.

2) My heater died. A-maaazing. The side-board heating still works (not that it ever did any good), and my space-heater is doing some good. But still. The truly amazing part is how I filed the maintenance request around 1:30pm and they CAME. By about 3!!! The thing is still not fixed, but ought to be tomorrow.

3) Realizing I am not as pale as I have always thought.

4) Heroes. Oh my god. It’s so good. Something I feel the need to point out, mostly to myself. Mohinder? Might vaguely put me in mind of Assam (and is also kind of hot). Eden? Vaguely Taiko-esque. Yeah. I think I need to point this out to Jamie and Megan.

5) Classes cancelled tomorrow as well. Is that really exciting? Kind of.

Exciting things from yesterday:

1) Fucking pain. Third month in a row that cramps have killed me. Why now? Clearly, I need to do something about this, if it’s interfering in um, life. The especially weird thing is that I was feeling flu-type sick before that, and afterwards not so much.

2) Mood swings, more than usual. Weather? Stress? De-hydration? What? Body, I am asking you a question. What is the deal?


But I found somebody else who has not only heard of The Critic but LOVES it. YAAAY!

Possibly Not Moving All Day

listening to: bjork – i go humble

Holy mother of all things weather-related. There is an actual blizzard warning until midnight tonight. They ACTUALLY CANCELED CLASSES.

See, I don’t mind this snow stuff when I’m not running around in it in Chicago.

In Need Of Levity

listening to: stereolab – cybelle’s reverie

Things are not awesome and I don’t really care who knows it.

But The Critic is definitely awesome. I don’t remember being quite so entertained upon first watching.

“Son loves mother, sweet romance! Poor old father has no pants.”

I don’t know what to do.

One More Time…!

listening to: pizzicato five – trailer music (808 state mix)

I just freaking do not believe I double-booked myself again. GOD DAMN!

It’s Not Unusual To Steal Trucks From Anyone

listening to: yuji oniki – amnesiascape

God…dammnnn! I double-booked tomorrow at 1 for a bass AND a cello lesson. WTF, Talia. What is your problem and why can’t you schedule things?! It wouldn’t be so much of a problem if I hadn’t bailed on my bass lesson LAST week, because of ‘ol Tanglewood audition-thing.

Hee, anyway. Some observations.

1) If I blogged about all idiot-driver encounters, I would blog a lot more. Tonight I was trying to pull into the underground parking at Krannert. And some huge-ass pick-up truck was trying to pull in before me. And if you are a member of my family (I realize many of you are not) and have ever tried to drive our Aerostar down there, you know that taller vehicles in that parking area don’t work. So I didn’t even proceed after turned in. I just sat in the street and waited for him to try to pull in and hit the warning bar. And watch him back out. This made the person behind me kind of impatient, I think. And so finally he had backed out and gone away, and I’m pulling into the garage, when some IDIOT who was going the wrong way almost careens right into me. And the guy behind me gets even more pissed and honks his horn. And I think I let loose my glare of DOOM. The end.

2) The roof of my mouth kind of burns. I need to stop eating cereal that hates me.

3) It exceeded 30 degrees today. Rock!

4) I am tired. Thus, maybe I should go to bed.

5) Show at the Canopy! Was fun. Kind of low-key. But fun. And also painful. There is this song (that I love) called In The Meantime, and it features an indie/70’s pop face-off, which later turns into a live quote of “It’s Not Unusual” by Tom Jones (“Tom — AND his Jones!”). And at first I thought “–hey! Strumming is fun! I will strum.” Which…good god. I need to make it a rule to strum a little every day, because the thumb-blister is bordering on “not worth it.” Also, there is a chord-change that, if I repeated it enough times for enough hours of enough days, would probably give me tendonitis or something. But the song is so good! Life just isn’t fair, is it.

6) Tired.

I had more observational blurbs. I can’t remember them. I am going to bed.